DreamlessnessFeb 25th, 2006 | By Ian Poulton | Category: Personal Columns
Listening to a pop song that mentioned dreams yesterday, I wondered what dreams meant to people now.
Dreams are connected with winning the Lotto, with having a home in the sun, with meeting the perfect partner. It wasn’t always so.
In the past dreams were often troublesome.
In the Bible, dreams are a foretelling or a warning.Matthew writes of the wise men, “And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route”.On Good Friday, Matthew writes “While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”
Shakespeare’s Hamlet could be content if he did not have bad dreams.
Freud assigned disturbing meanings to dreams; they signified repressed and displaced emotions.
Dreams in the past could be of a life of paradise; they could more often be omens of danger and contain shadows of menace.
There is a line in the ‘O little town of Bethlehem’ that always intrigued me, ‘Above thy deep and dreamless sleep’.To me that line always suggested that perfect innocence meant having no dreams.
Psychologists tell us that dreamless sleep is impossible, but perhaps that’s because we don’t sleep the sleep of the innocent.We get so weighed down with our own hurts and our own guilt and our own problems, that a childlike innocence is impossible.
Perhaps the dream to which to aspire is not to have the things foreseen in the pop songs, but to have no dreams.